Education

Somerville: Immaculata High School Names Joan Silo Head of School

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Joan Silo has been named to the new position of Head of School at Immaculata High School, replacing Principal Jean Kline, who is retiring after 30 years at the school. Credits: Courtesy Immaculata High School
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SOMERVILLE, NJ – A 16-year veteran of Catholic school education has been named the new head of school for Immaculata High School.

Joan Silo, Ed.S., most recently principal at St. Helen Catholic School in Vero Beach, Fla., will begin her new role on July 16, according to Msgr. Seamus F. Brennan, pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish and director of Immaculata High School.

In the newly established position, she will succeed Principal Jean Kline, who will retire at the end of after 30 years at Immaculata – the last four as principal – in leading the school. Kline was the first lay person in the school’s 56-year history to serve as principal.

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Following a nationwide search that included a competitive field of experienced candidates, Silo was selected by a search committee led by Msgr. Brennan. As the first head of school for Immaculata High School, a co-educational parochial school with a current enrollment of 450 students, she will lead the strong academic program, work closely with the faculty and guide the school’s advancement and development efforts.

“Joan Silo was chosen by the search committee – on which I was joined by diocesan leaders, educators and benefactors – as the new head of school for Immaculata High School from a very competitive field of highly qualified candidates,” said Msgr. Brennan. “She is a professional educator and Catholic school administrator, a visionary leader filled with passion for Catholic schools and committed to the mission of our schools.”

She brings years of experience as a Catholic school principal, as well as experience in development. In the new role, Silo will work with a broad range of constituents – faculty and staff, the diocesan office of schools, school advisory council, parents, benefactors and the local business community to advance the education provided to Immaculata students, added Msgr. Brennan.

“We found Joan to be a natural leader, who is action-oriented and a good listener, and one who seeks to work collaboratively with her team,” said Msgr. Brennan. “I am confident she will be an inspiring steward who will ensure the high standard of education at Immaculata so the school will continue to flourish.”

After earning a bachelor’s degree in communications from Iona College in New Rochelle, N.Y., she went on to earn her master’s degree in theology from Immaculate Conception Seminary and a professional degree as an educational specialist in Catholic school leadership, management and policy from Seton Hall University in South Orange.

Silo began her career in Catholic school education in New Jersey, first as a teacher at Morris Catholic High School in Denville, and later as a teacher and administrator at Immaculate Conception High School in Montclair and Paramus Catholic High School in Paramus.

Silo, who is looking forward to returning to New Jersey, said she is excited and honored to be the next head of school at Immaculata.

“It is wonderful to be joining a Catholic community with such a rich history of traditions and achievements,” said Silo. “With high expectations, excellent instruction, new curriculum offerings and consistent discipline, I look forward to building on an already impressive program.” 

A strong proponent of Catholic school education, Silo attended Catholic schools for the duration of her education, from elementary school through higher education.

“Drawing on experiences throughout my life, I can confidently say there is no comparison to a Catholic school education,” said Silo. “No matter the school, A+ public or high end private, it does not prepare students academically and nurture them spiritually the way a Catholic school does – providing students a rounded education for the whole person. The intangibles and the lens through which a Catholic school operates are just a few of the hallmarks that distinguish a Catholic school education from those provided by other educational institutions.” 

Offering a values-centered education to students in grades 9 through 12, Immaculata High School is grounded in four pillars: faith, academics, service and friendship. Throughout its long history, the school has been led by the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Immaculate Conception Parish also owns and operates Immaculate Conception School, which serves students from Pre-K to eighth grade. The parish is the only one in the Diocese of Metuchen, and one of only 25 in the nation, that sponsors a Pre-K through 12 school system.

Immaculata High School and Immaculate Conception School are now enrolling students for fall 2018. For more information about Immaculata High School, located at 240 Mountain Ave. in Somerville, visit www.immaculatahighschool.org or call (908) 722-0200. For more information about Immaculate Conception School, located at 41 Mountain Ave. in Somerville, visit www.icsschool.org or call (908) 725-6516.

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Somerset County Flags at Half-Staff to Honor Grace Gurisic, First Woman Freeholder

July 11, 2018

SOMERVILLE, NJ – Somerset County will fly its flags at half-staff July 12 in memory of Grace A. Gurisic, who served as the county’s first woman freeholder more than half a century ago.

Gurisic passed away June 9; she was 84. Funeral services will be held 8:30 a.m. Thursday, July 12, from the Vander May Wayne Colonial Funeral Home in Wayne. A funeral mass will follow at St.